HICKORY, N.C. -- Third ranked Adelphi traveled to North Carolina on Tuesday, opening the 2014 season against Lenoir-Rhyne. The Panthers led 10-7 heading into the fourth quarter, but three unanswered goals to force overtime. A Nick Watson tally just 57 seconds into the first overtime helped Adelphi escape with an 11-10 win. With the victory, Adelphi opens the campaign at 1-0, while the Bears fall to 1-2.
Both Watson and Joe Celano tallied three goals in the win, while Salvatore Tuttle and Robert Rossi chipped in one goal and one assist each. Gregory Puskuldjian helped Adelphi control the X, winning 14 of 21 face-offs and collecting a team-high eight ground balls, while Tyler Felice-Jennings cleaned up five ground balls.
Aidan Bennardo picked up his first win of the season with nine stops on 29 shots faced, while the Brown and Gold kept Bear goalie, Alex Squires busy, with 53 shots, 19 of which became saves. Adelphi also held an edge in ground balls, 27-22 and turned the ball over less 11-13.
Lenior-Rhyne opened the game quick, tallying three of the first four goals. However, the Panthers responded with two in a row, knotting the game at 3-3 at the 13:07 mark of the second quarter thanks to Nick Susko's first goal of the season. The Bears and Panthers would go on to trade three goals, with Lenior-Rhyne's Imari Davis scoring with 14 seconds left in the half to send the game into intermission tied at six.
The third quarter was all Brown and Gold. They reeled off three consecutive goals and out scored the hosts 4-1 in the third frame. Watson, Celano and Rossi pushed the Panthers ahead 9-6, but a Ned Kaish point would cut into Adelphi's lead, making it 9-7 with 4:13 left in the third. However, Celano's third and final goal of the game would come with 127 seconds remaining, putting Adelphi up three 10-7 heading into the final quarter.
Unfortunately for the Brown and Gold, the Bears took advantage of their limited opportunities in the fourth, scoring on three of their four shots in the period, forcing overtime. In the overtime period Puskuldjian won the opening face-off and allowed Felice-Jennings to collect the ground ball. Joseph Sciara got off a shot on goal that was turned away by Squires, but Adelphi held on to the ball and Watson took advantage. Finding the back of the net 44 seconds after Sciara's attempt on goal to help Adelphi slip away from Hickory unblemished.